Sunday 29 December 2013

Sunday Poem

We chose a proper genre of night.
We embraced the bittery, the chocolatey.
We scraped a secret song with butter knives. 
We sawed the legs off chairs and gashed our seats.
We ate our memories in silent rage.
We searched for tiny birds in empty trees. 
We praised a pair of pants for seven days.
We set our trauma clocks quietly.
We embraced the lemon rind and marmalade. 
What else did we eat?
We ate all the soapstone sculptures.
We ate the elders with schnapps and black coffee. 
We ate the ivory letter opener.
We wondered at no warnings in the sky.
We double-locked the plastic cake server. 
We held destructed scarves and ties.
We ate a tiny bird we could not see.
We listened to piano wires cry. 
We read day-old bagels, silently.
We repressed bright memories into mirrors.
We daydreamed repeatedly, relentlessly. 
We sat, a row of subtle sudderers.
We held clandestine hissy fits.
We practiced ancient, sanctioned behaviours. 
We sat together in a wet soap dish.
We ate the funeral roll with open mouths.
We stood alone inside the alphabet. 
We tried our best not to cross ourselves out.
We taught our children how to sneeze.
We filled garbage bags with unspoken thoughts.
We stored away a useless ring of keys.
We fell asleep in garbage chutes.
We slept as if a tiny hive of bees. 
We bid our hats adieu, adieu.
We observed one meaningless thing a day.
We ate the people we once knew. 
We analyzed the dust inside the rain.
We ate the rules of proper mourning.
We counted all the garbage that remained. 
We sat alone in broken ice machines.
We waited for a box of wood to come.
We dressed quietly in anything. 
We found an empty garbage chute to plumb.
We fell asleep in abandoned dog bowls.
We tapped the white skin of a scarlet drum. 
We bound ourselves in shadows.
We crumbled cookie shards into our hair.
We burned a hole through what we didn’t know. 
We left our handprints on the walls of hell.
What else did we eat?
We practiced eating weiner schnitzel. 
We ate Atlantic salmon cured in bleach.
We unpacked harmless, morning fireworks.
We ate party sandwiches filled with cheese and grease. 
We ate twelve or thirteen socks.
We sealed our eyes with Saran Wrap.
We shared a suitcase of tattered prayer books. 
We reached for things beyond our grasp.
We grew superstitious.
We tried to make each other laugh. 
We said something kind, something vicious.
We organized a sympathy archive.
We attended to tedious business. 
We stared until we made our mirrors cry.
We raised ourselves for everyone to see.
We said hello, we said goodbye. 
We wore the same shoes aimlessly.
We walked a small parade around the world.
We passed the sunny corner where you used to be.
From What The World Said (Mansfield, 2013) by Jason Camlot

(Painting by Chris Flodberg)

1 comment:

Gillian said...

I've never been a fan of list poems before but this one blows me away. All the minutiae of grief laid out steadily, repeatedly. Thanks for this.